Yucca root is a boon for people looking for healthy, gluten-free addition to their diet. Yucca root can be mashed, boiled, baked, or fried and offers a host of micronutrients to boost your health. People often swap it for the mighty potatoes for almost any dish. Whether it is your immunity, heart health, digestion, arthritis, or diabetes, yucca root has impressive properties that can treat these conditions. It is also considered excellent for improving skin, has anti-aging properties, and improves your vision. Let us know more about this beautiful vegetable.
List of 12 Amazing Health Benefits of Yucca Root
Yucca root is packed with carbohydrates and is a starchy food, albeit a bit dense and reminiscent of a pumpkin’s texture. Not only it offer immense health benefits when included in the diet, but people also use it to treat skin conditions and wounds. To avail of Yucca root’s medicinal services, you may even have it in supplement form if you do not wish to incorporate it into your diet.
Let us discuss the health benefits of the Yucca root.
1. Boosts immunity
We all know a healthy immune system is a key to one’s overall health and well-being. Most of us spend a lot of money taking supplements to boost our immunity. However, you can look at including Yucca root in your regular diet and benefit from loads of antioxidants in the form of vitamin C and zinc.
Antioxidants are your first line of defense from harmful free radicals as it promotes the production and activity of white blood cells. These cells fight and inhibit the attack of viruses and infections on our bodies.
2. Improve and treat digestive issues
Digestive issues such as improper digestion, constipation, and defecation can be effectively cured by including Yucca root in your diet. Cassava is loaded with dietary fiber, providing bulk to the intestines to encourage a smooth bowel movement.
Fiber is always good for one’s body and aids in weight loss. Fiber-rich Yucca root eases constipation – making you regular, gets rid of toxins from the body, and relieves other gastrointestinal problems. (1)
3. Yucca Root Benefits for Hair
Saponins are present in the Yucca extract, which helps in reducing itchiness and inflammation. It also helps treat dandruff primarily used by native American tribes.
- Hair Cleansing: The hair cleansing benefits of the roots could be primarily attributed to their anti-fungal properties. In addition to cleansing, it also removes excess oil, dirt, pollutants, and other harmful elements.
- Dandruff: Dandruff is one of the major causes of hair loss in many people. Yucca root is used in shampoos and could be directly applied to the hairs. Peel the root, crush it, and then apply it to the scalp. The scalp should be rinsed thoroughly. The root is also available in powder form, which could also be applied to the scalp. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties keep dandruff at bay.
- Hair Loss: The is no scientific proof for it, but the roots have been used as a hair loss remedy for ages by Native Americans. There is no harm in trying it once to see it for yourself.
4. Good for diabetics
People with diabetes are always on the hunt for low glycemic index food. But then, the body does need carbohydrates and starches for the body. Compared to other starchy foods such as rice and potatoes, Yucca root stands an impressive 46 on the glycemic index score against 73 for rice and 78 for potatoes. (2)
For this reason, diabetes patients should include Yucca root in their diet because of its good carb properties. It may be mentioned here that Yucca is a carbohydrate in the end, and to control blood sugar levels, the consumer only needs to be moderate.
5. Take Yucca for headaches and stress
The perils of a modern-day fast-paced lifestyle leave all of us stressed, and frequent headaches are a common occurrence. Instead of popping an OTC painkiller, use Yucca to benefit from its magnesium and manganese content. Magnesium helps with migraines and also soothes and relieves stress.
Manganese and magnesium help soothe the nerves suffering from contractile blood flow resulting in headaches.
6. Keep your heart healthy by reducing cholesterol
Being rich in dietary fiber, Yucca promotes a healthy cardiovascular system, given its binding properties. Since it eases constipation, the fiber content removes excess cholesterol in excretion and balances fatty acid levels. (3)
The arteries and blood vessels get relieved, and there is less stress on the heart. They are indirectly saving you from strokes and heart attacks.
7. Aids in weight loss
Dietary fiber makes one feel full, and satisfied, and curbs the desire to eat more. It also helps to regulate the absorption of nutrients efficiently. The complex sugars in Yucca root make you less likely to binge eat or snack on unhealthy options.
Plus, because you keep getting rid of toxins from your body, conditions such as bloating and flatulence also go away, making you lose weight effectively.
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8. Improves skin conditions
More or less, skin abruptions are related to digestive health. As Yucca root improves your digestive health, you see fewer breakouts on your skin. The presence of saponin in Yucca cleans your blood and pushes out toxins, making the skin shine and glow.
Antioxidants’ presence protects the skin from damage from free radicals, making you look young and fresh. Regular intake also makes your skin tight and firm. Photoprotective properties of Yucca safeguard the skin from sun damage as well.
9. Arthritis and joint pains
Yucca has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, given the presence of resveratrol, yuccaol, and saponins in it. These contents make it great for inflammation, especially in the case of arthritis. Yucca also contains considerable amounts of manganese, which is often recommended as a treatment for arthritis.
Make Yucca a regular part of your daily diet to get relief from painful swelling and stiffness in your joints.
10. Stabilizes blood sugar levels and prevents hyperglycemia
The condition of hyperglycemia is characterized by the body’s resistance to insulin- wherein the body cells do not use glucose (sugar) for energy. This causes an increase in blood sugar levels, which can complicate diabetes. If one does not have diabetes, the likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes increases.
With Yucca root’s regular consumption, blood sugar levels are normalized, thanks to saponins’ presence. The ability of saponin to reduce elevated plasma blood glucose makes it an excellent agent for controlling and maintaining blood sugar levels. (4)
11. Used for healing wounds
Collagen, the leading skin protein that connects the tissues, keeps our skin tight, healthy, and tensile and replaces dead cells. Derived from Yucca’s high Vitamin C content, collagen rewards advanced and quick healing when used to heal wounds. You can use it as an external applicator or consume it with your meals.
FAQ on Yucca Root
What is Yucca Root?
Native to the Caribbean belt, Central America, Mexico, and South America, Yucca is a perennial plant that comes in about 40 species and belongs to the Asparagaceae family. For centuries, Americans have been using Yucca to make ropes and baskets, but the roots have loads of nutrients in concentrated forms.
Yucca can be boiled, fried, or grounded into different flours, and is known by other names in different cultures. Some famous names for Yucca root include Guardian of the Desert, Spanish Bayonet, Needle Palm, The Joshua Tree, and Soapweed, Lord’s Candle.
Remember that Yucca root must not be confused with the Yucca plant, fruits, and flowers used for medicinal purposes. It is often referred to as Caribbean cassava.
How Yucca Root Tastes?
Yucca root tastes similar to potatoes and is used as a healthy replacement for the same. Yucca root is available in sweet and bitter tastes, but only a handful of varieties grow the nutritional roots. Some of the most popular types of Yucca are Yucca filamentosa, Yucca elephantipes, Yucca schidigera, Yucca baccata, and Yucca glauca.
What are Side Effects of Yucca Root?
Unless you are allergic to it, Yucca has no side effects when eaten. The most typical indication of Yucca’s allergic reaction would be an unsettled, upset stomach and abdominal pain and vomiting.
For people looking to lose weight with Yucca, avoid frying the root. The calorific value of fried Yucca increases so much that it may add up to your scale, not take away from it.
Due to a lack of research on whether Yucca is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children, Yucca is best avoided in the interest of safety.
Dosage of Yucca Root
You can incorporate Yucca into your diet like any other food or vegetable. However, if you use Yucca supplements, consult your doctor for the recommended dosage and never take more than it.
However, it is recommended not to consume Yucca for more than three months at a stretch – as it may interfere with other fat-soluble absorptions. There are no known drug interactions but do check with your doctor once.